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After returning from its mission to the sun (satire), North Korea appears to have kicked its development of Red Star Linux into high gear. New screen shots have surfaced of the OS and they tell two very big tales. First off, the screen shots are square, so North Korea has yet to adopt widescreen technology. Secondly, Kim Jong Un must be a huge fan of Apple's OS X operating system.
Former iterations of the Linux-based OS took on a more Windows 7 desktop appearance, but these new screen captures are clearly a direct rip-off of Apple's OS X. Red Star Linux has been in development in the isolated country for more than a decade now, and this new OS X style version marks the third revision in the OS' history. The screen captures came from, Will Scott, a university professor who spent a semester teaching in Pyongyang at its University of Science.
The operating system does include a Mozilla-based web browser even though Internet access is restricted to most North Korean citizens. The browser is used to access a country-wide intranet that serves up websites for North Korean educational institutions, and government propaganda sites. The OS also features a copy of Wine so that some programs coded for Windows can be run. With such a blatant rip-off of OS X's theme, one is left wondering when we will see the first North Korean knock off iPhone or iPad arrive.
Net Applications' data for January 2014 shows that both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 didn't make much progress for the first month of the year. Both operating systems gained 0.09% combined, with Windows 8 even falling 0.26%, but Windows 8.1 grew by 0.35%.
Windows 7 dropped 0.03% from 47.52% to 47.49%. Windows Vista is slowly dropping, 0.31% for the month down from 3.61% to 3.30%. Windows XP on the other hand, regained some market share, increasing 0.25% for the month. Net Applications data comes thanks to 160 million unique visitors' data being captured, by over 40,000 websites for its clients.
Apple announced some massive numbers during its earnings call today, creating a record quarter for the company thanks to huge upticks in iPhone and iPad sales. But how is iOS doing?
The company has announced that 80% of all iOS devices in the wild now feature iOS 7, with 17% still on iOS 6, and the last 3% running an older version of Apple's mobile OS. Remember, these numbers are for the most active iOS users, not all iOS users. Apple found its numbers by using App Store usage over a seven-day period which ended on January 26.
Apple did point out that its iOS 7 numbers are much better than Android 4.4, but that is to be expected when there are so many different Android handsets on the market, versus just a handful of iPhones and iPads.
Paul Schiller, Apple's Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, talked with MacWorld when the Mac turned 30 just a few days ago, where he had some interesting things to say about the OS X and iOS worlds merging.
He said: "We don't waste time thinking, 'But it should be one [interface!]' How do you make these [operating systems] merge together?' What a waste of energy that would be". Apple's head of software, Craig Federighi, chimed in with: "The reason OS X has a different interface than iOS isn't because one came after the other or because this one's old and this one's new. Instead, it's because using a mouse and keyboard just isn't the same as tapping with your finger".
Federghi continued: "You don't want to say the Mac became less good at being a Mac because someone tried to turn it into iOS. At the same time, you don't want to feel like iOS was designed by [one] company and Mac was designed by [a different] company, and they're different for reasons of lack of common vision".
Today, a new report was released from ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, that stated that Microsoft is planning on releasing the first update to Windows 8.1 as early as March 11th, the same day the company has scheduled to push out its monthly security updates. This throws off analyst expectations for Microsoft's Build conference, which was expected to be centered around Windows 8.1.1.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 is expected to refine the operating system and will reduce memory usage and disk space requirements to help lower-end tablets really shine with the OS. Microsoft hopes that these lower system requirements will help the OS gain some market share in the mobile arena, and become popular among low-end tablet manufacturers. We are expecting to see Windows 9 launch in October, so maybe Build will be all about Windows 9 and its return to a more traditional desktop.
Fans of Microsoft Windows now have something to look forward to in 2014 if newly leaked information is correct. A "hacker" going by the name of, WZor, says that we can expect to see Redmond release Windows 9 in October of this year, not the following April as previously expected.
WZor has been accurate in the past, and many industry insiders believe him to have insiders deep within Microsoft, if not an actual Microsoft employee himself. The new release date rumor came in the form of a Tweet which read "Win 9 released in April 2015? No! No! No! ..WIN RTM-0 RELEASED SIGN-OFF DEADLINE IN 21 OCTOBER 2014 :)" In any event, lets just hope that Microsoft returns to their senses and brings back something more similar to Windows 7 instead of the atrocity that Windows 8 is turning out to be.
Before Steam Machines begin invading gamers' living rooms, Valve hopes to offer digital music, video, and TV episodes through SteamOS. The news is coming from General Business Developer, Anna Sweet, who revealed the information at Valve's Steam Dev Days.
Valve launching digital music, video, and TV episodes through SteamOS would put it right up there with Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. But, would you expect anything less from Valve wanting to enter the living room? SteamOS was never going to be a games-only platform, as Steam itself is a digital distribution network.
I expect we'll see Steam, and SteamOS grow into something much more monstrous during 2014, and I'm incredibly excited.
Now that December is over, the latest numbers are available for Google's mobile OS, Android. We've seen Android 4.4 KitKat increase its grip on the market, jumping just 0.3% for the month.
Jelly Bean increased by a decent margin, increasing from November's numbers of 54.5%, to December's 59.1%. Gingerbread continues to slide, losing around 3% since the last time we saw these numbers. As for Ice Cream Sandwich, we're seeing 16.9% still, but this will continue to erode as people upgrade, and new devices are pushed onto the market.
Over 75% of Android devices are now running Android 4.x, which is great for developers with apps that require Android 4.x and above.
We've heard about the Threshold a few times, but now we have Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott reporting that the software giant will unveil its new "Threshold" OS as Windows 9, which will be released next year.
What will Windows 9 include? Well, Thurrott believes that we'll see Microsoft discuss its next-gen OS at its upcoming BUILD developer conference being held in April. Thurrott believes that Microsoft will shift away from the Windows 8 name after all of the problems associated with it, and will drop the Windows 8 branding in favor of Windows 9 - this could change, but right now this is what he believes will happen.
Thurrott also reports that development on Windows 9 will begin in late-April, with no build of it being teased or given out at the BUILD conference in April. He also reports that we should see something he is calling "Metro 2.0", that would be a major focus of Windows 9. He doesn't know what will be changed, but we should see the desktop be centered again, versus the company going all-touch as it did with Windows 8.
Popular Linux distribution Ubuntu, released by Canonical, will provide Torrent users from The Pirate Bay to search for torrents directly from the Unity graphic user interface (GUI) desktop. The Canonical team shares Ubuntu releases and updates via torrents and sought to expand free and open software into the user experience.
"The Saucy/Trusty early version of the torrents scope has landed yesterday in the scopes-packagers ppa. Not the final design, but a good way to test the functionality (which was initially created for Precise) against the smartscopes Dash."
Desktop Linux distributions are popular among experienced users, and introducing features like integrated torrent searches can help. Microsoft has kept Windows fairly simple and streamlined, but different Linux packages have easy-to-use customizations to enhance user ability to be productive.